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Ben Cherington explains why Will Middlebrooks remains in AAA

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 10, 2013 11:26 AM

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SEATTLE — When Stephen Drew strained his right hamstring on June 28, the Red Sox shifted Jose Iglesias from third base to shortstop.

Jonathan Diaz, Brandon Snyder and now Brock Holt have played third base since. Diaz and Holt are rookies and Snyder a 26-year-old who is now in his third organization in as many years.

The Red Sox elected to keep the more experienced Will Middlebrooks in Triple A Pawtucket.

General manager Ben Cherington was asked why the team has gone that route.

“When we sent Will down, we had a long conversation with him and followed up a few days later in Pawtucket,” he said. “We felt like the best thing for Will and the best thing for the Red Sox long term was for him to spend a period of time in Pawtucket and really get back to doing things consistently that he was doing before he got called up last year and the things he did for most of the year last year.

“He agreed with that ultimately. So we just felt like rather than shorten that time period up because of a need, we committed to a plan [and] let’s carry it out."

Middlebrooks is 15 of 57 (.263) in 14 games since being sent back with four home runs and 16 RBIs. For the moment, there are no plans as to when he would return.

"There was no exact time on it. But the plan was more than a few days," Cherington said. "Give him a chance to get his feet back underneath him again. Rather than yank him back up to fill an injury need, we just felt what was best for him and best for the team was to let him keep working on things that he needed to work on. He’s done that.”

The players who have manned third base since Drew went on the DL are 9 for 34 (.265) with nine RBIs in 10 games. Holt has the job at the moment and has handled it well. He made two nice defensive plays on Tuesday night.

Holt had never played third base until spring training and saw only seven games there at Pawtucket before the Sox called him up.

"It takes some getting used to the angles. But it gets more comfortable every day," he said. "The coaches have been great in terms of getting me ready and telling me what to expect."

Drew should be back after the All-Star break. John Farrell mentioned Tuesday that he's close to being ready for a rehab assignment. Presumably the Red Sox will play Drew at shortstop and move Iglesias back to third base.

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